It was a flight filled with pregnant women, one for the Guinness.
The repatriation of distressed overseas Filipinos reached another milestone following the arrival of a chartered flight from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a total of 108 expectant mothers on board on Thursday, July 1.
The 108 pregnant women were among the hundreds of Filipinos left stranded in the UAE following the travel ban imposed by the Philippine government on several countries to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Despite complaints from numerous overseas Filipinos particularly in the UAE against the travel ban, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the 348 repatriates on board the chartered flight, including the 108 expectant mothers, arrived in “high spirits.”
The DFA said the last repatriation flight from the UAE also included 86 pregnant women on board.
According to the foreign affairs office, this flight was the third DFA-chartered initiative from the UAE, and part of the department’s efforts to bring home as many stranded and distressed Filipinos from the region as soon as possible.
The arrival of the 348 repatriates has now brought the total number of Filipinos repatriated in the month of June from the UAE to 1,034.
Last 2 June, a Cebu Pacific flight brought home 364 land-based OFWs, while another DFA-chartered PAL flight last 17 June repatriated 322, all of whom, except one, were land-based workers.
Upon arrival at the NAIA, all passengers were tested and tested negative in the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test administered at least 48 hours prior to their departure from the UAE.
The passengers in the chartered flight will undergo stringent facility-based quarantine for 14 days and shall undergo another round of RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 while in quarantine.
Each repatriate will be provided with P10,000 financial assistance at the end of their quarantine.
Due to the high number of Filipinos stranded in the UAE, the DFA announced that four more organized repatriation flights are being arranged for the month of July.
Stranded Filipinos in the UAE are advised to send their applications through the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai to include them in the list of future repatriations.